Iowa men’s basketball has a rich tradition with 25 NCAA Tournament appearances, eight Sweet 16s and three Final Fours. The Hawkeyes have produced dozens of elite players who have played professionally, earned All-Big Ten honors and remain icons throughout the state for generations.
Throughout March, Landof10.com will host daily polls designed for fans to vote for the best players in Iowa basketball history. The first 16 days will consist of four players in 16 different pods (64 total players). From March 17-24, each pod’s top two players receiving votes will advance to knockout-style voting condensed to eight pods consisting of 32 players. From March 25-28, the top two contestants in the eight pods will compete in four winner-take-all matchups. On March 29-30, the top four players face off in head-to-head competition. The final vote between the top two players will be held March 31.
Here is the March 17 vote — the first day of Round 2. Below are backgrounds of the candidates. The top two players receiving votes advance to the round of 16 beginning March 25.
PG RONNIE LESTER — Scored 1,675 points from 1976-80, leaving Iowa as the school’s all-team leading scorer despite missing half of his final season with a knee injury. Led Hawkeyes to 1980 Final Four. Still has fourth-most field goals and sixth-most assists in school history. Led team in scoring and assists in the 1977-78 and 1978-79 seasons, earning First-Team All-Big Ten honors both seasons and earning assorted All-American honors in the 1978-79 season. His number 12 is retired. Still ranks No. 7 in all-time scoring at Iowa.
F JARROD UTHOFF — Scored 1,298 points in three seasons from 2013-16 to rank 20th in Iowa history. Consensus Second-Team All-American, consensus All-Big Ten forward, national Academic All-American of the Year and Big Ten’s all-defensive team in 2016. Second in Big Ten scoring in 2016 at 18.9 points, first in blocked shots (2.7). Only player in last 15 years to average more than two blocked shots and two 3-pointers per game. Twice led team in blocked shots. Led team to three straight NCAA Tournaments.
G SAM WILLIAMS — Scored 1,176 points in two seasons from 1966-68, 27th in Hawkeyes history. Boasts the highest scoring average in Iowa history at 24.0 points per game. Scored 25.3 points per game in 1967-68, the third-highest total in school history. Named Big Ten MVP and a third-team All-American in 1967-68. Led team in scoring both seasons.
F DICK IVES — Consensus second-team All-American in 1945 and earned All-American honors in 1944. Led Iowa to first outright Big Ten title and averaged 11.5 points per game in 1944-45 season. Team declined NCAA Tournament invite because of World War II. Averaged 18.1 points a game in 1943-44, still a freshman record by nearly 3 points a game.
Day 16: Bill Logan, Peter Jok, Luke Recker, Mike Gesell (still voting)
Day 15: Jess Settles, Adam Haluska, Dan Frost, Gerry Jones (still voting)
Day 14: Aaron White, Greg Brunner, Jeff Moe, Kent McCausland
Day 13: Fred Brown, Matt Gatens, Chad Calabria, Brad Lohaus
Day 12: Chuck Darling, Devyn Marble, Val Barnes, Les Jepsen
Day 11: B.J. Armstrong, Kevin Kunnert, Adam Woodbury, Glen Worley
Day 10: Sam Williams, Ryan Bowen, George Peeples, Melsahn Basabe
Day 9: Acie Earl, Jeff Horner, Steve Carfino, Glenn Vidnovic
Day 8: Dick Ives, Reggie Evans, James Moses, Steve Krafcisin
Day 7: Greg Stokes, Carl Cain, Bobby Hansen, Kevin Gamble
Day 6: John Johnson, Chris Street, Michael Payne, Al Lorenzen
Day 5: Andre Woolridge, Herb Wilkinson, Chris Kingsbury, Vince Brookins
Day 4: Don Nelson, Dean Oliver, Kenny Arnold, Chris Pervall
Day 3: Murray Wier, Jarrod Uthoff, Kenyon Murray, Erek Hansen
Day 2: Roy Marble, Bruce King, Kevin Boyle, Ben Stephens
Day 1: Ronnie Lester, Dave Gunther, Ed Horton, Jimmy Rodgers